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Photo – Bri Hammond

What Does Travelling Solo Really Look Like?

Amelia Barnes
13th August, 2019

A solitary holiday to Italy inspired Bri Hammond to capture the images in her first solo exhibition, Nuoto da sola.

Photographer Bri Hammond is well known in the Melbourne arts scene as a regular contributor to Frankie magazine and Smith Journal. This week, she is taking the next step in her career, and hosting her first-ever solo exhibition! Go Bri!

Nuoto da sola (meaning, ‘I swim alone’) is a series of serene images captured by Bri on a trip to Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. The city’s main feature is its beach that spans 15 kilometres of umbrellas and beach lounges all sectioned by colour.  This visit was part of a wider two-month, solo European holiday Bri undertook following the end of a long relationship. 

‘Single for the first time in my adult life, travelling solo was my final test to prove my own autonomy. Whilst I often felt awkward drinking, eating or sightseeing by myself, I always found solace in swimming in the ocean alone,’ she says.  ‘It was a huge personal achievement, a massive push out of my comfort zone and really rewarding…I was seated at a table next to in Vernazza and they nicknamed me ‘Lupa Solitaria’ (the lone wolf). I really liked that.’

The images in Nuoto da sola capture the spirit of Rimini while simultaneously conveying Bri’s feelings during this period of life. While an Italian friend had told her that the city was ‘daggy’, this ended up being the basis of its appeal for Bri.

‘I thought it would be a great place to rest and refuel, have a free bed to sleep in and catch up…but upon discovering the beach on the second to last night, I wish I had more time there (and more than one roll of film)’ she says. ‘I loved that most things on the beach seemed unchanged since the ‘80s or ‘90s…Coming from a small beach town in South Australia, where you get angry if there’s a single other person on the same beach as you, the scenery of this large and popular beach was really bizarre and visually enchanting to me.’

Also showing at Brunswick Street Gallery alongside ‘Nuoto da sola’ is landscape painter Edwina Edwards’ exhibition, ‘9 Kilometres’.

Nuoto da sola by Bri Hammond
Wednesday August 14th – Tuesday August 27th
Opening night Friday, August 16th 6-9pm
Gallery open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
Brunswick Street Gallery
Level 1 and 2, 322 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, Victoria

Amelia Barnes
13th August, 2019

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net